MotherTongues: Wear Words, Celebrate Cultures

about words, languages, cultures, travel

Experiences instead of gifts January 12, 2012

Filed under: Be the change,Greener lifestyle — Michelle @ 8:06 am
Tags: , ,

As the Christmas season fades behind us, I want to reflect on the season of gift giving. Maybe it was the woman who used pepper spray on others to get an advantage while waiting for the Xboxes to be unpacked, but it feels to me like the shopping frenzy is getting more extreme every year.

A couple of years ago, I did research on the Swedish word Lagom and designed a t-shirt to go with the meaning: Enough is as good as a feast. Lagom describes having just enough (food, clothing, shelter). You decide on your own “enough”, nobody can prescribe it to you.

Lagom changed my life. I became aware of how much stuff I bring into the house. I now ask myself if I really need it before I buy. I’ve started following Bea’s blog TheZeroWasteHome.com, read about the man who only owns 15 things, and become inspired to simplify, reduce, and pare down. I still buy way too many things that I regret, it is definitely a journey!

One year ago we spent Christmas in South Africa, and knowing we can’t bring back gifts in our already-stuffed-suitcases, we asked our family to give our girls experiences instead of gifts. The family responded by organizing a puppet show (and making it a wonderful afternoon to remember with friends and many kids), taking the kids snorkeling in the ocean and showing them what swims and grows there, and taking the kids to the beach for a fun day.

This year we were in Florida for Christmas. We visited the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, where Winter the dolphin from Dolphin Tale lives. The girls were in awe to see their first “movie star”.

I’m hoping that I can live into the spirit of Lagom more and more over the coming years: showing our kids that you don’t need physical gifts to celebrate, but that it is the experiences that you’ll carry in your memory forever.

How do you plan to find your own Lagom in your life?

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One Response to “Experiences instead of gifts”

  1. Lize Says:

    Dis mooi – dankie! Ek probeer ook dinge minder maak, maar sukkel. Kleinbaai is nou klaar gebou, so my huis kan nou minder vol wees.


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